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18/08/11 - Large factory fire at Lithgow

Published: 18th August 2011

FRNSW was alerted by numerous Triple Zero calls to a large factory complex fire in Donald Street, Lithgow, at 1.22am this morning, Thursday 18 August.

Lithgow fire crew were quickly on scene and sent the first Red message stating that the rear section of an old tile factory building was fully involved in fire. The 100 x 100m building had mixed occupancies, consisting mainly of highly flammable timbers and furnishings.

The Zone Commander for the Blue Mountains area took charge of firefighting operations and sixty firefighters from ten surrounding fire stations were requested to deal with the large fire. Water pressure quickly became an issue and multiple RFS units also assisted in water relays.

Several explosions and a roof collapse prevented an internal attack and defensive strategies were quickly and successfully deployed. At around 4.00am, an internal attack was commenced and a chemical storage area was successfully defended inside the complex.

The fire was described by town locals in the media as being the largest fire in Lithgow since the 1997 bushfires and attending crews have been praised for their efforts in saving a large proportion of the complex. Fortunately no injuries were reported and the cause is still under investigation by Police.